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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Peak Performance and getting there in business or sport (3)

"He who builds a better mousetrap these days runs into material shortages, patent-infringement suits, work stoppages, collusive bidding, discount discrimination--and taxes." - HE Martz

Peak Performance and getting there in business or sport part 3
He who builds a better mousetrap these days runs into material shortages, patent-infringement suits, work stoppages, collusive bidding, discount discrimination--and taxes." - HE Martz

Peak Performance and getting there in business or sport part 3



2. Process and Metrics

This is another step in building a robust performance enabling model for your business or your workout in the gym :), these two go hand in hand, your business needs processes to operate within and you need to be able to measure the effectiveness of the processes by establishing metrics.

Process:

Process (lat. processus - movement) is a naturally occurring or designed sequence of changes of properties/attributes of a system/object [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7]. More precisely, and from the most general systemic perspective, every process is representable as a particular trajectory (or part thereof) in a system's phase space.

Your business is one long process,divided into sub-processes, finance guys appreciate this as they can value map the whole business, the whole complex procedure of getting money in to your business and spending money on supplying the product service/product, and hopefully making a profit at the end of it. The operations guys appreciate this as they can plan and improve, a process can be defined( Material,Manpower,Machine,) and has a set time frame that it happens within, it can be mapped out and improved on, reduce the process time, in steps or completely, improve the use of materials, make sure you get the process correct first time, the list is endless. The techniques used by the finance team and operations teams are transferable, we see the 6 Sigma process being used in finance houses as well as the manufacturing process, we see lean manufacturing techniques being used in the health care service. In the early days your process will be fluid, but as the company grows you need to get your process well defined, from order's won through to order fulfilment, so you can start to have some stability in the organization, and steady growth.


Metrics:

"Metrics are a system of parameters or ways of quantitative and periodic assessment of a process that is to be measured"


Once you have defined your process, you can start to put in place the metrics you require to control the process and make it deliver your required output. These are well defined at the top of the process, Sales, Orders, Book to bill, profit, margin, etc, the key to making this an effective tool for the team to self manage there own performance and push forward, is to set in place metrics at sub process level, for the sales guys, how many calls do they need to make a month, for finance set metrics on debtor ratios etc...and make sure everyone can see the results of the metrics, canteen, notice board, regular company and team meetings , comment on them, reward or discipline by them, make them important to everyone, make it become a habit of meeting the metrics, take time to walk the floor and give praise directly to those who do well, and talk to those who miss the target, understand why and make sure there are corrective actions taken to recover the poor result. There should be no happiness in making only 95% of the target, it has to be a culture of achieving all the metrics set.





Conclusion

Process and metrics can be powerful tools to help you get the best performance from your team and can be self maintaining if the review process is transparent and involves those who it impacts on, they should not be imposed, they need to be set after consultation. Have fun..

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